Mango farmers in Prachuap Khiri Khan province are facing significant challenges as severe drought conditions and inadequate irrigation systems take a toll on their crops.
Throughout the province in Pran Buri, Sam Roi Yot, Kui Buri, and Mueang Prachuap Khiri Khan some 50,000 rai of land is used to grow mangoes for export.
However, in Mueang Prachuap Khiri Khan where farmers are grappling with inefficient irrigation systems and an ongoing drought which is now posing a threat to the thriving mango industry in the region.
A group of farmers, operating as a community enterprise in Ao Noi, has been exporting their prized golden flower mangoes to countries including South Korea, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Singapore. The standard price for their mangoes stands at 80 baht per kilogram when exported out of season. However, during the regular season, the price drops significantly to 40 baht per kilogram.
The farmers said that the lack of water has recesulte din the
The situation has been further compounded by the recent loss of approximately 300 rai (120 acres) of mango trees, resulting in an annual loss of around 3 million baht.
Rehabilitation efforts to revive the orchards require a substantial time investment, with an estimated 4 to 5 years before the mango trees can bear fruit again.
Farmers in the region have also expressed their concerns over the inadequacy of the current irrigation infrastructure, which fails to cover the entire cultivation area. Additionally, the scorching heat and prolonged drought have depleted water sources, including village reservoirs and small ponds owned by farmers. As a result, there is insufficient water supply for proper care and maintenance of the mango orchards.
The impact of these challenges on the local mango industry has been significant, with fewer than 200 families engaged in exporting mangoes out of season. These dedicated farmers have suffered losses of approximately 300 rai (120 acres) due to the withering of mango trees, adding to the financial strain already imposed by the unfavorable market conditions.
The farmers said that efforts to address the irrigation issues and secure sufficient water supply for the cultivation areas are urgently needed to support the recovery and growth of the mango industry in Prachuap Khiri Khan.
Local authorities and agricultural organizations are being called upon to collaborate and find viable solutions to safeguard the livelihoods of mango farmers and preserve this valuable sector of the region’s agricultural landscape.